A monthly column that keeps its finger on the pulse of Forsyth’s artists and their inspiring stories
This month’s featured artist, Elizabeth Butler, finds power in the softer side of elements and experiences, bringing together textures and palettes that dance alongside words in her art. Elizabeth’s eclectic style and vibrant personality are a perfect match, creating connection with fans of her work.
Elizabeth Butler | Mixed Media & Surface Designer
How would you describe your work?
I would describe my work as delicate, detailed, and poetic. A lot of my work involves collage elements and text; complex layers that come together to make the whole. Very much like our experience as humans – layers and facets.
What influences your art most?
Emotions and moments influence my work the most. I am highly sensitive, and I’ve always been drawn to capturing feelings and fleeting moments I’ve experienced or witnessed in my life. I would say I’m also influenced by one of my favorite artists of all time, Cy Twombly.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist?
Ooh, I feel like I am ever evolving and ever learning. But I think the greatest evolution I’ve made thus far is learning to create through whatever means necessary, regardless of my stage of life. I firmly believe I was created to create. And, for a long time, I stifled myself if I didn’t feel I could create in the way I was “supposed” to. I specifically studied printmaking and book arts while in school, but my current reality doesn’t allow for that form of creativity, so instead I create in the ways I can: painting, collage work, and hand lettering. Heck, I’ll even make decor for my children’s rooms, bespoke signs, invitations… I even designed and made Valentines for my oldest two children this year! Now I’ll get my hands messy in the creative world in any way I can – and I’m a better artist through all that exploration. It feeds the inspiration.
What role does motherhood play in your work?
Motherhood has made me even more sentimental and emotional than I already was when it relates to my art. I once read something about a photographer taking the last favorite photo of someone you really care about; how precious and fleeting life is and what a gift it is to be able to give that to someone. And that’s how motherhood has deepened those feelings for me – we’re all here for such a brief time – we’re all just walking each other home. How sacred it must be to impart a lasting gift of artwork, something filled with my heart and soul, to make others feel?
How do you carve out time to be creative?
Aside from my art, I stay at home with my three children. So, in this current season of young ones, it can be a little tricky to carve out time. Most of my creative time is “after hours” once all the kids are in bed for the night. Sometimes I can squeeze in a little time while my youngest naps, if my older two are having some quiet play time together. My husband is super supportive so he will also fly solo with the kids some evenings or weekends when I have project deadlines.
What are you working on that excites you right now?
I am learning to hand engrave glass and I am thrilled to begin offering a beautiful and personalized heirloom quality gift option for people. (The options could truly be endless, think an engraved and gilded perfume bottle, or a favorite bottle of wine or spirit with a name, date, or sentiment!) This past Christmas I also started offering painted bottles as well – a more whimsical take, but still one of a kind and a very unique gift.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists?
Stay true to who you are! So many people tried to dissuade me from my penchant for the color pink, or the combination of soft and delicate visuals with sometimes heavy or sad themes, and I am SO glad I didn’t listen. While in school at The Savannah College of Art & Design, I was really challenged to dig deep into my artistic preferences – why I create the way I do. One of the best compliments I ever received was from one of my professors upon graduating – that he was so proud of me for sticking to my guns about my aesthetic because it worked for me, it made me special, it was my “thing.” Being different is never a bad thing, and being true to yourself will never go out of style.
If you are interested in learning more about Elizabeth Butler you can follow her on Instagram @lovelimade as well as find her work online at www.lovelimade.com.